I've seen departments in NH and OH billing themselves as saftey departments--in which all of their members are trained as FFs, EMT/P, and LE officers. Im curious about how it is decided who runs what type of call--and if the ambulance goes--do they bring LE gear. Same with PD runs--do they bring bunker gear in their cruisers. I'm wondering if this idea is effective, or if its too much trouble to intergrate all of the services.
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Thread: Saftey departments
08-19-2006, 06:51 PM #1
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- Apr 2006
08-19-2006, 09:26 PM #2Originally Posted by skipatrol8"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
08-19-2006, 10:06 PM #3
The system you are referring to is commonly called a Public Safety Dept., and the members Public Safety Officers (PSOs). Do a search on here for PSO and you'll see plenty of discussion. We have many of them in Michigan, predominately in small, upper class communities with very little crime and no appreciable fire load. From personal experience, I can tell you that they are mostly police officers with turnout gear gathering dust in the trunk. Police work dominates their duties 98-2. As far as EMS, the ones around here either hire a single FF/Medic per shift to run the ambulance or contract the EMS out. Kalamazoo, MI is one of the largest PSO depts left after Sunnyvale CA pulled the plug on theirs and returned to separate Fire and PD.
Last edited by gunnyv; 08-19-2006 at 10:22 PM.
08-19-2006, 10:07 PM #4
The only place around here who has this kind of system is the Port Authority PD/FD that operates at the Toledo Express Airport.
Their primary responsibility is to operate as LEOs. Adjacent to the Airport, somewhat on the same property (they are connected, but technically 2 areas) is the 180th Fighter Wing Air National Guard Unit. The Air Guard also has a FT FD. They respond with the Port Authority on all Fire and EMS runs on both the base and the Airport properties. There are crews coming from other FD/EMS agencies automatically if it is anyothing other than a EMS run, typically.
I know they aren't the best example of this type of system, but it's close. I believe there was someone on here who used to work for a Public Safety organization until they separated........ cozmosis, maybe???The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
08-20-2006, 05:16 AM #5Originally Posted by gunnyv
They are an effective stop-gap in areas where there is not enough full-time population and call volume to support dedicated services in each discipline, and where dedicated services are available via an extended response time.
Here at our resort, I manage the Safety Services Department, which is modelled on the same principle. We have had a volunteer fire dept (in both an industrial, and now public incarnation) for years, but LEO and Ambulance response is over 30 minutes.
As Gunny has suggested, the majority of our time is spent in the law enforcement role, with medical calls coming in second. Fire calls make up the least call volume, and of course is supplemented by the VFD when it requires apparatus support.
Last edited by mcaldwell; 08-20-2006 at 05:24 AM.Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!
08-20-2006, 10:17 AM #6
The city of Durham, NC had switched to the PSO system back in the 1970s. By the mid-1980s they switched back to separate police and fire departments.
Way too much work for both of them in reality, especially nowadys with the amount of crime, the friggin' gangs, the drugs, the violence, and fire load that comes in spurts. Let alone the number of medicals that the department runs.
Essentially, it seems that if you are a small community then you might be able to get away with it. But the multi-role issue starts to get a bit cloudy.
I have seen some wierd combinations though. In Flint, MI the Genessee County Sheriff's Department runs Paramedics. Yes, the Sheriff's Deputies are Paramedics. I have heard of some issues with that as well. SImply a matter of call volume.
If you don't have enough business then you have difficulty remaining competent. Then you have to do everything else involved. That is a lot of training and time and money."Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers
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08-20-2006, 04:25 PM #7
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- Jan 2003
I really don't think they are ever a real good idea.
There is one near Cincinnati OH, Amberly Village. http://www.amberleyvillage.org/depar...fire/index.asp
The big difference Amberly is almost 100% residential, population of about 3,400 and almost all are high end homes on multi acre lots. They describe themselves as rural suburbean but I am not sure about the ruarl part.There is no commerial, industrty etc to speak of, a few large religious buildings etc and nothing has an exposure. I am unsure how they do the staffing but all the police officers/firefighters also are required to live within a certain distance and respond on fire calls when off duty (they don't have many). They have a nice 75' Quint and a reserve Engine. It probbly works for them since they don't do EMS a neighboring fire district provides the Medic Units (Cops first respond and are EMT's) They have mutual aid on structure fires and like I said have very few fires maybe one real worker every few years. To my knowledge none uses them for mutaul aid? I have heard from some of their former employees they are a good police department that plays fireman once in a while, and for the most part wiats for AMARS to arrive, but I have never seen them in action my self.
In a community that is built up, has exposures, runs EMS, covers apartments, commercial industrial schools etc I don't think its a viable option. To many calls, to many split responsibilities and to much training. Overtime costs would be huge to keep up with both LE and Fire responsibilities.
Last edited by spegram; 08-20-2006 at 04:31 PM.
08-21-2006, 03:49 AM #8Originally Posted by skipatrol8
When I was hired, we operated as a public safety department. Normal staffing was two or three public safety officers and one firefighter. Not everyone was trained as a police officer, but only police officers could be promoted from entry-level positions. The firefighter responded in the engine to fire & EMS calls while PSOs responded in their patrol cars. A fire or serious medical emergency stripped the city of all protection.
Fortunately, with revenues from a sales tax heavily promoted by the career firefighters, the city's administration abolished the public safety department and created separate police and fire departments instead. The citizens of our community are immeasurably safer because of this.
08-21-2006, 12:04 PM #9
it dosnt work, not a good idea... but there are "some good" pso out there... let the police do police and let us do the fire......
08-21-2006, 02:43 PM #10
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- Dec 2000
here's a place near my city
Public Safety Mission Statement
The Gladstone Department of Public Safety exists for the purpose of protecting and serving the people of Gladstone. Vital to this purpose are the values which reflect what the Department believes in as an organization. These beliefs are reflected in the Department's recruiting and selection practices, policies and procedures, training and development, and ultimately, in the actions of its public safety officers in delivering services. Values reflect what the Department considers important and determine the way public safety officers view not only their role, but also the people they serve. Moreover, our values serve as a linkage between the ongoing operations of the Department and the community's ability not only to participate in, but also understand the reason for Public Safety Department strategies. Our operational philosophy is based on the following values which we believe are conducive to a professional Public Safety Department. ETC...ETC....
08-21-2006, 10:56 PM #11
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- Mar 2006
Public Safety Departments
There is only 1 PSD in NH and it is Waterville Valley Public Safety. Some other towns have discussed it over the past few years, but it has never come to fruition. Waterville Valley as far as I know Trains all personel as LEO/FF/EMT and they rotate through the different positions, plus in times of true emrgencies they have the extra staffing. I believe if you are assigned as a FF for the shift, than that is what you do.However, I can not imagine how successful it is considering they may hire someone who is already a PO or a FF and after thier orientation to the position and the agency then have to leave and go to the academy for the discipline they do not currently have, and then on to EMT school. It must take them a long time to get someone up to thier full training. Even at that, when someone leaves it must create an awful void. Maybe someone from Waterville, or someone who is familliar with it will chime in here. I am curious as to how it works, I just do not know anyone up there. They do have a pretty good website as well.
08-22-2006, 02:21 PM #12
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- Feb 2001
- Illinois-where pertnear is close enough!
It is my personal opinion after much discussion that PSO departments are OK...if you live in Mayberry, Hooterville or Petticoat Junction.
I believe that any of the fine men and women of those towns could wear more than one hat.
Was Sam Drucker a multi-tasker or what?
Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)
08-23-2006, 07:56 PM #13
There are a few Public Safety departments left in Georgia, but not many. Bainbridge, Grovetown and Harlem are the three that I know off the top of my head. I am a volunteer with Harlem.
We have somewhat benifited from the change. Before, we were sperate, with the fire department being completly volunteer. Now, there is always at least one PSO on duty that is a firefighter, and they are working to get all of them certified. This helps alot in the daytime, when we dont have as many memebers to respond to calls as we do after 5PM. We run a good amount of first responder calls, and all of the patrol cars carry jump bags, AEDs and an O2 bottle. As someone else mentioned, they also carry thier turnout gear in the trunk. The fire department is still completly volunteer and we do not have to cross train, only the full time PSOs do. This is why some say we are not a "true" PSD.
Full time PSDs operate a little different. They have all of thier personell crosstrained, so that at any givin time you have a shift of police officers and a shift of fireman. Grovetown is a good example. They staff both divisions full time with enough guys to operate both. When they have a police side emergency, only the guys working the police shift go, not everyone.
Someone mentioned the case of a big emergency where the city would be unprotected. The advantage to that is that with Public Safety, we usualy have enough personell to leave someone at the station standing by.
We are still working things out with the particulars. I agree with a few of the other posts above. You either need a very small community or one big enough to have the staff to run Public Safety. It deffinatly is not for everyone.
08-24-2006, 05:02 AM #14
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- Mar 2004
Yes, it seem tht at one time or another that several communities around the Lansing-Jackson area of Michigan had either looked into the idea of forming Public Saftey Departments with very few opting to go through with it. Most of them have kept seperate entities with a few exception.
Meridian Township for a couple years went to this idea, but they reverted back after a year or two. This was done under the idea that they could save money, but in the end I think EMS and Fire side suffered. As it was before they converted to PSD there were to few Firefighters and the FD did both Fire and EMS.
The other community that still has a Public Saftey Department is Blackman Township outside of Jackson, MI. Which seems to work for this Township. Yet, again it is another community in which if there is Fire or larg EMS event happens there is no one left to do Law enforcement. Also if it happens to be a fire that if it anything more than small fire that Mutual Aid is called. When they do mutual aid themselves such as Tanker and Manpower it usually one PSO or Firefighter on their Tanker and another PSO in their patrol car. Which isn't much help manpower wise, but that is another story.
Also the City of Albion is another community that has PSD.
From what I heard Blackman Township and City Albion both have their problems and issues, but they seem content to keep the system in place. Largely due to the fact if they split it would mean their budgets would have to increase to include two department that they have for the price of one.
PSD might look great on paper, but in reality they are rarely staffed for the reality of the needs of their community. For some locations depending on various factor, including if they will have Volunteer/On-Call help on the EMS-Fire side or if they going with only the staff. It may or may not work. Now if you already have a moderate EMS-Fire load the odds are it will not last long. Too many seemed to be Police heavy, but spend too little time training on the fire side of things. Granted they may not have fires daily, but then again you can't operated effectively without proper training.
Also Ingham County Sheriff Department, which is where Lansing is in Michigan also has operated Paramedic units for the County since the early or mid-1970's. It has work for the most part, largely due to most of the Ambulance outside of the Lansing Area are run or started out as voluneteer organizations. The system has had it bugs, but it has work for Ingham County for the most part. There were times when there were too few Paramedics on duty or they would be dispatch all the way across the county for EMS run. Since many of the out-county FDs that do first responders have their own EMTs and Paramedics it helps out even more. Also the Ingham County Sheriff Department also run 'Heavy Rescue' unit(s) in the out-county area. This worked for years, but again over the last 10-15 years many of the FDs have also started to get some of the equipment. Which helps out, but Ingham County Sheriff Department is the only agency that works 24/7 in many areas of the County.
08-24-2006, 03:06 PM #15
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- Mar 2000
- Dayton, OH
I don't work for them, but I live in a Public Safety Department City. It seems to work well for us, but I don't think it would be possible to start a new department as such. They tend to operate as such because they always have.
See it here http://www.ci.oakwood.oh.us/
As far as operations, as I said, I don't work here but my understanding is that you are assigned road (PD) duty for your 8 hours with your bunkers in the trunk. Then off to HQ for a 16 on the engine or medic. On a fire EVERYONE comes, on a EMS call only the medic and the cruisers come, and on a PD call the engine and medic can stay at quarters. I believe that we have three guys on the road and 5 in the house at all times, but I'm not positive.
We have 2 medic units and two engines but cannot staff all of them, they will get brought out for support, but not staffed with a full crew. They take ample use of MA agreements with Dayton to the north and Kettering (where I work) to the south.
As has been said before, it seems to work well here because the community is both wealthy and small. 9000 residents in 3 square miles, average income and house value are fairly high too.
Interestingly, we just hired a new Chief who is a cop, now he's off at school taking Firefighting and EMT classes...
08-24-2006, 11:52 PM #16
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- Apr 2006
oakwood was exactly what i waas thinking of, as i know they are truly cross trained. they have nice equipment too.
08-25-2006, 12:57 AM #17
I dont care for PS departments. A brain child someone had that was just a plain bad idea.
In Cali- We have about 3-4. The Cities of Marina, Rhonart Park, Sunnyvale and the Ontario International Airport.
If you want more info. on PS depts, ask UTFFEMT here on theses threads. He works for one in Utah.
Last edited by CALFFBOU; 08-25-2006 at 01:02 AM.
08-25-2006, 02:14 AM #18
Another issue with departments of public safety is that once you're a cop, you are always a cop. If the department has PSOs respond to medical calls in their patrol cars and in their police uniforms -- as mine did -- do you think the patients will be as honest as they would if it were just the folks from the fire department or EMS there?
Before I arrived, there were stories of traffic stops in fire engines. After I got here, we had a fire engine attempt to get into a pursuit and had the fire marshal front and center of one (on TV, no less). Nothing against cops as my old man was one for a long time... But there is a level of trust the public places in us that we don't share with law enforcement. They need to know we're always firemen -- not sometimes firemen and sometimes cops.
08-25-2006, 09:23 AM #19
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- Mar 2006
Once a cop always a copOriginally Posted by cozmosis
You bring up a good point, as a Police Officer how can you truly be a patient advocate on an overdose call for instance. On one hand you are there to help the patient, but in the back of your mind you are looking for evidence of drug possession, or use. This must be difficult, especially since as a police officer you are duty bound to enforce the law, and when the patient has a needle sticking out of thier arm, it must be difficult to treat the medical side of the call.
08-25-2006, 11:49 PM #20
also see here ...........IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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